Cannes: Preface

This is a book about judging creative work. Not just at Cannes, where, if you are lucky enough to be a juror, you will find yourself in an ill-ventilated conference room for a week, separated from the sparkling waters of the Cote d'Azur by the bunker-like prison of the Palais des Festivals.

It's also about judging creative work in your daily working life. It's a different take on the journey that starts with a blank piece of paper and an open mind. It's about a skill which is shrouded in mystery, but one which everyone in the business needs. Awards juries, any account handler, planner or creative, clients ... the ability to judge an idea as it progresses through the agency machine is a universally required skill.

This book is a collaboration between Campaign and DDB London. As the most individually awarded agency in the world in the current Gunn Report, (not to mention the most awarded agency in Cannes history) an account of the approaches of eight top DDB creatives from around the network would, we knew, provide an invaluable insight into how to judge work.

Was there a danger that many of the contributors would have similar things to say? Not at all, for as each writer's piece arrived, each representing one of the eight awards categories at Cannes, each accompanied by a case study putting the theory into practice, it became clear that the ideas within were as diverse as the authors.

There is a degree of commonality too. It seems that what works in the highly specialised, cutting-edge world of interactive marketing is exactly what works in radio, where a script and a sound studio are your sole creative tools, and always have been. Judging is about the search for brilliant, big, well-realised ideas that generate a reaction and inspire you to advocate them to be acknowledged by the rest of the room or jury as if they were your own.

What should you take away from this book? The answer must be, as much wisdom as you can usefully absorb. Test what you read and see if it works. Dip in and out when you need to refresh your skills. We hope you will find it enjoyable and informative.